Friday, 31 January 2014

The faces of Corrie in 1974

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next few weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.
 In 1974, 103 episodes were broadcast.

1.    Betty Turpin (87 episodes)
2.    Len Fairclough (81 episodes)
3.    Bet Lynch (79 episodes)
4.    Rita Littlewood (73 episodes)
5.    Ray Langton (71 episodes)
6.    Annie Walker (71 episodes)
7.    Jerry Booth (69 episodes)
8.    Ken Barlow (68 episodes)
9.    Billy Walker (68 episodes)
10.    Deirdre Hunt (67 episodes)
11.    Emily Bishop (65 episodes)
12.    Stan Ogden (61 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Alf Roberts fails to make the top 12, but he also appeared in 61 episodes

Average age: 41

Note: This is the last time Jerry appears in the top 12

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Top 50 Corrie Couples - Nos. 42 and 41

42. Ray Langton and Deirdre Hunt/Langton, 1975-1978 (24 votes)

When Deirdre Hunt arrived on the cobbles in 1973, she was hired by Len Fairclough and Ray Langton as a secretary in their builder’s yard. Romantically, she became involved with publican son Billy Walker, much to the annoyance of his mother Annie. By 1974, they were engaged but Billy fled to Jersey in 1975, leaving Deirdre on her own. She found comfort in her boss Ray. Although Deirdre’s mother Blanche disapproved their relationship, they married the same year.

Ray quickly found out that his wife wasn’t the quiet and submissive type and she wasn’t afraid to stand up to him. In 1977, Deirdre gave birth to Tracy and they moved into N°5. Their wedded bliss didn’t last long as Deirdre was sexually assaulted under the viaduct and she contemplated suicide. Ray didn’t believe that she wasn’t raped and this damaged the marriage, so much that Ray had an affair with Janice Stubbs. Deirdre found out and struggled to forgive him, and when he was offered a job in Holland, she refused to join him. He left and only returned in 2005 to make amends with her and Tracy before he died of stomach cancer.

Did you remember Ray and Deirdre as a couple? Should they be at 42?


41. Alan Howard and Elsie Tanner/Howard, 1969-1973 (25 votes)

After two failed marriages and a long string of men, Elsie Tanner met Alan Howard in 1969. Fancying his chances, Alan hired her as manageress in his newly opened hair salon. Although uninterested at first, Elsie agreed to a date. After many dates, Elsie married Alan in 1970. But the marriage was fraught with financial difficulties – Alan’s mainly. She found a rival in Janet Reid who tried to start a relationship with Alan, but Elsie saw her off.

The marriage was tested in 1972 when Alan started drinking heavily. Elsie feared that he was an alcoholic after he nearly burned the house down after sleeping with a cigarette in his hand. Alan sobered up and recovered. In 1973, Elsie heard that son Dennis was in prison and, ashamed to admit to Alan, went to London under the pretence she was visiting old friend Sheila Crossley. In London, Elsie was knocked down by a taxi and when Alan went down to identify her, he suspected her of having an affair. Later that year, the Howards left for Alan’s native Newcastle. Elsie returned alone in 1976, now separated from Alan and divorced him in 1978.

Do you remember Alan and Elsie as a couple? Should they be at 41?


Check out who was at 44 and 43.

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Fab Photo Friday - January 31st 2014

It's Friday again so it's time for this week's fab Coronation Street photo. For the 2nd week running we're featuring Steve McDonald, this time going deep undercover playing detective with Lloyd Mullaney.


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Canadian version of Coronation Street coming soon?

There's a story in today's Sun, which I can't read fully as I don't subscribe to it.  The headline says that Coronation Street writers are "secretly working on scripts for a Canadian version of the show".

From The Sun: "It is expected to be launched within months — and could see the national dish of pancakes and maple syrup replace Betty’s famous hotpot as the show’s signature dish.

Corrie is screened in 60 countries worldwide but this will be only the second foreign reworking made in 50 years."

What do you think, Canadian Corrie fans?  

Post-blog edit: A Coronation Street source has told Mirror Online: "Coronation Street is already shown in Canada, so we are not remaking Corrie. However, ITV studios are helping to develop a new show, a domestic Canadian soap."
  
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Spot the Corrie prop - January 31st 2014

Only 3 attempts at last week's storage jars and none of them what I would call correct. Hannah was close in saying Roy's Rolls and an anonymous contributor mentioned Roy & Hayley's kitchen taps, so seeing as the jars are in Roy's flat I guess they win by being closest.

For this week's prop poser all you have to do is tell us whereabouts on Coronation Street you think you might have seen this wicker basket.




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Coronation Street Blog's best bits of January 2014

Now then, we normally blow our own trumpet once a year, at the end of the year when we do an annual round-up of achievements from the Coronation Street Blog.

Have a look here at Coronation Street Blog's best bits from 2013 and 2012.

So that's what we've done for the last two years.  But this year, so far, we've achieved a great deal already this month.  So much so, that I'm going to blog all about our amazing January 2014 as it's the final day of the month. 

What have we achieved this month? Just have a look at all of this:

  • Our free Android App was launched. Download it here.
  • We donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Charity in exchange for a blog post from Coronation Street's Julie Hesmondhalgh.  Read it here.
  • Exclusive! Interview with the actress who plays Hayley's humanist funeral celebrant, Susie. Read it here.
  • Exclusive! Blog post with the real-life transsexual advisor to Coronation Street for Hayley Cropper's character.  Read it here.
  • Our blogger Graeme was invited to ITV for a screening of Hayley's final scenes.  Read about his visit here
  • Working with The Marina Theatre in Lowestoft, we offered Corrie fans discount tickets for their pantomime starring ex-Corrie actress Amanda Barrie. Read it here.
 I'm excited to see what February will bring!   

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Preview of tonight's double Corrie - Friday 31 January

Coronation Street, FRIDAY 31st JANUARY 2014 at 7.30pm
THE COMMUNITY BIDS FAREWELL TO HAYLEY Tyrone’s shocked to learn that Hayley took her own life and Roy’s boycotting the funeral. Carla orders him to get dressed and they join the other residents as Hayley’s cardboard coffin arrives in the hearse. At the funeral, Fiz speaks about her memories of Hayley but Roy feels he can’t remain silent anymore. Is he about to reveal Hayley’s secret?
SOPHIE REACHES OUT TO MADDIE Sophie visits the shelter and is alarmed to see Maddie sporting a bruised face but Maddie’s annoyed to find that Sophie’s been checking up on her background and dashes off. Just wanting to help, Sophie chases after Maddie but will she get more than she bargained for?
LEANNE MAKES A SACRIFICE TO HELP NICK Nick feels like a burden to his family so Leanne suggests he moves back into Victoria Court while she and Simon stay with Stella.
ELSEWHERE Rob’s put out when Tracy shuns his offer of a night out to spend time with Amy and when the caterers fail to deliver the food for the wake, Steve improvises a spread at the Rovers. Andrea drops by and lends a hand.

Coronation Street, FRIDAY 31st JANUARY 2014 at 8.30pm
ROY’S SUFFOCATED BY HIS LOSS Despite Fiz, Anna and Carla’s pleas, Roy insists on speaking out. To their relief, he tells the congregation that Hayley had her flaws but she was brave. At the wake, Roy feels besieged by well-wishers and is desperate to escape the barrage of sympathy. Noticing Roy’s absence, Anna and Fiz call at the café where Roy has left them a note...
SOPHIE’S REELING AFTER MADDIE’S KISS Sophie confides in Steph about Maddie’s kiss.  Steph is quick to realise that Sophie finds Maddie attractive, and thinks she ought to track her down. Will Sophie take the plunge and ask Maddie out?
ROB STEPS UP TO THE PLATE Tracy’s taken aback when Rob asks to join her cosy night in with Amy and is even more surprised when Rob admits he’s enjoyed himself.
ELSEWHERE Michelle and Lloyd arrive back at the Rovers to find the food situation under control, and Steve singing Andrea’s praises.

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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Spoiler: Maria finds Marcus topless with Todd

There are some wonderful paparazzi pictures online of a topless Marcus Dent. 

What's Marcus doing being pictured with his top off?  He's running after Maria who has just caught him in a shirtless clinch with Todd. 

Or so says The Daily Star

The paper says that Maria finds Marcus with Todd, she storms out of the house and straight into the arms of Audrey.

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The faces of Corrie in 1973

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next few weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


In 1973, 105 episodes were broadcast.

1.    Len Fairclough (79 episodes)
2.    Betty Turpin (78 episodes)
3.    Bet Lynch (75 episodes)
4.    Ray Langton (73 episodes)
5.    Annie Walker (72 episodes)
6.    Jerry Booth (71 episodes)
7.    Hilda Ogden (70 episodes)
8.    Ken Barlow (69 episodes)
9.    Rita Littlewood (69 episodes)
10.    Elsie Howard (65 episodes)
11.    Stan Ogden (64 episodes)
12.    Norma Ford (63 episodes)

Average age: 43

Note: This, to date, is the only time Norma appears in the top 12

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Job Vacancies: Coronation Street - The Tour

Continuum are looking for creative commercially minded individuals, guest obsessed, with a commitment to delivering excellence and passion for the following key roles in the new Coronation Stree set tour. 

The old set at Quay Street is to reopen to the public this year for a limited time of a few months.  Read more about that here.

The vacancies on offer are as follows.
Duty Manager
Duty Manager – Operations x 2
Duty Manager - Retail
Tour Guides
Retail/Box Office Assistants
PR Officer

Find out more and apply here.



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Top 50 Corrie Couples - Nos. 44 and 43

44. Gary Windass and Izzy Armstrong, 2010- (19 votes)

Gary bumped into Izzy’s wheelchair in the Rovers and they immediately took a shine to each other, but Gary had to go to war as he’d joined the army. When he returned, they planned a date but Gary was seduced by Kylie but Gary and Izzy started a relationship.

When Izzy was robbed in 2011, Gary became overprotective of her and even kept her hostage in their flat. When Owen broke into the flat, he saves a petrified Izzy and Gary is treated for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after his experiences in the war. They reunited on Christmas that year. In 2012, Izzy lost a baby and was then interested in surrogacy. Tina agreed to take on the challenge and did feel smothered by Gary and Izzy. When she gave birth to the baby, Tina at first refused to give him to them, but then changed her mind. Since then, Gary and Izzy have settled into parenthood.

Are you a fan of Gary and Izzy? What do you think the future holds for them? Should they be at 44?

 
43. Bert and Ivy Tilsley, 1979-1983 (23 votes)

Although Ivy had been part of the street since 1971, we didn’t see her husband Bert until 1979. At this time they’d been married for 23 years and had one son Brian born in 1958. Bert was introduced into the programme when Ivy expressed interest in 5 Coronation Street, now empty after Deirdre Langton had moved next door to N°3. During the four years that we saw the senior Tilsleys on our screens, it was Ivy’s hatred and judgement of daughter in law Gail as a wife, mother and as an Anglican that dominated storylines. Poor Bert had to be a referee between the two women and regularly escaped to the Rovers.

Bert supported his son’s marriage and was besotted when grandson Nick was born in 1980. Originally unemployed, he found a job as a fitter in 1982 and then a mechanic at Brian’s garage. In 1983, he was injured in a compressor accident and was unconscious for two days. He returned to N°5 an invalid and later disappeared and was found dazed and confused in Bristol. He had suffered a breakdown and was admitted to hospital. He died off-screen in Bristol in 1984, leaving Ivy a devastated widow.

Were you a fan of Bert and Ivy? Should they be at 43?



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Coronation Street fan of the week - Emma in Manchester

It's time to meet another Corrie fan of the week.
Would you like to be our Coronation Street fan of the week? 

Click here to find out more.
Who are you and where are you from?
Emma Cameron-Pryde, originally from Colwyn Bay, North Wales, now living in Prestwich, Manchester.

How long have you been watching Corrie?
Since the late 1970’s. I grew up watching Corrie and it's still an institution in our house today. Me and my Mum are massive fans.

Who are your favourite female and male characters - and the reasons why?
In recent times, it's got to be Roy & Hayley. An incredibly touching love story, very moving and brilliantly acted by both of them. Roy & Hayley are a national treasure - the King & Queen of Cafés! 

I loved Blanche for her scathing put-downs, one-liners and dry wit, especially the scenes with Liz's thongs and THAT Barlow family AA meeting! She is very much missed on the show.

Steve is great with his comedy expressions. I'm always on the lookout ready to screen pause on his "Gurns of the Week", and there are plenty of them! Dev equally for his way over the top delivery and hilarious Dev-isms!

What's been some of your favourite Corrie storylines over the years?

My all-time fave has got to be "Olivegate" - Lewis stitching up Gail and the Platts with his parting "Italian for Lovers" DVD was absolutely classic, a proper "punch the air/jump off the sofa" moment! Ciao!

Same also when Kirsty finally got exposed as a husband beater, Deirdre rumbled the bogus pilot/conman Jon Lindsay working in the Tie Shop, and Alan Bradley getting hit by a Blackpool tram!

And what would your fantasy Corrie storyline be?
Me... having a full English fry-up at Roy's, followed by a manicure, shampoo & set at Audrey's, a few small sherries in the Rovers, before whisking all the Factory gays & girls off into town in a Street Car for a night on t'cobbles!

Have you any snippets or news about meeting any of the Corrie cast, or trips to the set, etc., that you'd like to share?
Living in Manchester, I often see cast members in our local supermarket or around town. You think it's someone you know and have to stop yourself from going over for a chat. Having said that, I once met Sean Skinner (the bookmaker) in the Manchester Press Club and told him I used to work in a bookies (he seemed a bit nonplussed)!

One of the local churches in Prestwich where I live is often used to film Corrie weddings, and Heaton Park has also doubled as the Red Rec.

I visited the Street when the old Granada Studios Tour was open and am hoping to re-visit if they open it to the public again before the developers move in later this year.

I occasionally write a TV blog on Wordpress entitled "Through Deirdre's Glasses" but mainly post on my Facebook page under CORRIEWATCH.

 
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Hayley's Choice - yes or no?

The Campaign for Dignity in Dying have created a website called Hayley's Choice. 

You can find out more here.

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Corrie cast give evidence in William Roache court trial

From BBC News



Anne Kirkbride (Deirdre Barlow), Chris Gascoyne (Peter Barlow) and Helen Worth (Gail McIntyre) were at Preston Crown Court yesterday in the William Roache sex abuse court case.

Coronation Street actor William Roache was "always a perfect gentleman", his on-screen wife has told a court. Anne Kirkbride, who plays Deirdre Barlow, was one of a number of cast members giving evidence at the actor's trial at Preston Crown Court. Asked what she thought of Mr Roache, Ms Kirkbride said if she was to describe him in one word, it would be "lovely". 

Chris Gascoyne, who plays Peter Barlow, said Mr Roache was "fantastic", "very calm, relaxed," and a person who "takes every day as a new day which is inspiring to me. Bill sets the precedent for everyone. He is decent and kind to everybody," he said.

Helen Worth, who plays neighbour Gail McIntyre, described Mr Roache as "a father figure, an elder statesman. He was caring, never anything more. Just caring. What more can a man be? He was lovely," she said.

Ms Worth, 63, was "extremely nervous" when she joined the show in 1974, aged 23, the court heard. Helen Worth, who plays neighbour Gail McIntyre, smiled at Mr Roache when she left the witness box She said: "But Bill perhaps was caring more and welcoming to me then. And [he] has been to every new member of the cast since," she added.

Asked by Louise Blackwell QC, defending, if she had seen Mr Roache in the company of young female cast members.

She said that she had and that she "never saw anything that was untoward whatsoever in 40 years".

Ms Worth smiled at Mr Roache when she left the witness box. Mr Roache waved back from the dock.

The case continues.

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Coronation Street episode review, Wednesday 29 January 2014

As Hayley’s funeral draws near, Roy listens dutifully as Fiz reads her list of preparations. Big emphasis has been placed on polishing his best shoes, and we recall that this was something Hayley stressed the importance of before her death. Roy evokes such pity as he tells Fiz he wants to wear his wedding suit, and obediently busies himself with newspaper, polish and brushes. The reason for Hayley’s insistence that he attend to his shoes becomes clear as Roy finds a book entitled “Memories” in the box. However, he casts it aside and begins to polish furiously, becoming increasingly angry. Rather than constituting a wonderful discovery, this book appears to have brought to the fore the painful feelings invoked by the circumstances of Hayley’s death.

When Suzie arrives to discuss the arrangements, an unravelling Roy strikes fear into Fiz that he will tell her the truth. He advises that the situation is far from normal, hints that he may not completely concur with Suzie’s image of Hayley as a selfless person, and that he is not getting to say what he wants to in the aftermath of her passing. Sensing his struggle, Suzie tells him it’s ok to be angry, that grief is incredibly complicated and she is there to listen. Roy gets angry, declaring that absolutely everything has been Hayley’s choice. 

Fiz confides in Carla about Roy’s outburst and tells her that Suzie may have deduced the truth, but that she doesn’t think they have anything to worry about. Carla acknowledges that Roy has lost the love of his life and will naturally struggle. Back at the flat, he looks in solitude at the empty seat before which sits the "Memories" book. As has been the case since Hayley’s death, the volume of outside noise from the street overwhelms the flat, acting as a metaphor for the challenges facing Roy; he can’t stop the outside world from coming in no more than he can shut off the incessant thoughts that invade his mind; he can get no peace. 

Carla and Fiz find him cooking in the café and he offers them the "Memories" book, planning as he is to dispose of it without reading it. Worried Carla tells him she knows he nearly said something he shouldn’t have to Suzie, and tries to discourage him from doing so as he may find himself in trouble. But tormented Roy observes, “You talk as if I have something to lose.” It is as if because he had no control over any of Hayley’s choices, he is determined to exert some now as he tells them, “she doesn’t get to choose how I’m supposed to feel, not now.” While Hayley has very much planned the funeral to be a celebration of her life, Carla and Fiz are shocked to hear that Roy doesn’t intend going. “I have allowed my wife to take her own life,” he tells them, “forgive me if I’m not in the mood to celebrate.”

Still toying with Tim, a devious Sophie tries to encourage Sally to go to the newspapers about his heroics. She feels she has been subjected to a “mini-crimewave” as a result of Sophie’s volunteer work, but it doesn’t stop her working at the shelter where she tells Maddie she wants to help her. Maddie tells her the only way to help is with money. Sophie refuses to pay her, but a show of affection results in Maddie confessing that it’s not for her, but for her Mam who’s even more messed up than she is.

While Mary takes a trip to the salon to look her best for Hayley’s funeral, Sean, Jenna and Sally discuss outfits in the Rovers. They’ve been told to wear something colourful, but Sean warns Sally against sporting her hot pink leather catsuit.

Tracy succeeds in getting Amy home by bribing her for a computer game, and Steve warns her not to mess up the opportunity. He’s not the only one as Deirdre, happy to see them having fun, tells her “You can make all the excuses you like, but remember, you only get one crack at this.”


Beth offers Carla her condolences, and, having gotten her job back, tells her “Hayley was lucky to have you as a mate”. Carla points out that she was the lucky one, “we all were Beth.” Kirk is happy to hear Beth’s news but warns her not to blow it.

Dev gives the green light to Kal’s business proposal for the gym, but it’s a flashing amber for his awkward lycra-themed conversation with Stella. Kal tries to recruit gym members at the Rovers, but faces a tough audience. Sean is concerned that a kebab shop owner opening a gym is something of a conflict of interests, while Deirdre is disappointed to hear Dev “won’t be giving chilli sauce rubdowns”. We thought that spark was doused long ago, but Deirdre clearly still has a thought to spare for her old flame.

By Emma Hynes


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Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The faces of Corrie in 1972

If you remember, last year I had a series of posts looking at the top 12 faces of each Corrie decade - the 1960s, the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s and the 2000s. For the next few weeks or so, I’ll be looking at the top 12 faces of each year between 1960 and 2013.

With thanks to Corriepedia for the information.


 In 1972, 104 episodes were broadcast.

1.    Len Fairclough (79 episodes)
2.    Elsie Howard (78 episodes)
3.    Ray Langton (77 episodes)
4.    Billy Walker (76 episodes)
5.    Maggie Clegg (74 episodes)
6.    Jerry Booth (72 episodes)
7.    Annie Walker (72 episodes)
8.    Alan Howard (70 episodes)
9.    Hilda Ogden (68 episodes)
10.    Emily Nugent/Bishop (66 episodes)
11.    Betty Turpin (64 episodes)
12.    Ken Barlow (62 episodes)

Due to lack of space, Bet Lynch fails to make the top 12, but she also appeared in 62 episodes.

Average age: 44

Note: This is the last time Maggie (to date) and Alan appear in the top 12

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Top 50 Corrie Couples - Nos. 46 and 45

46. Eddie and Anna Windass, 2008-2011 (16 votes)

When they arrived, Eddie and Anna had aspects of Stan and Hilda and Les and Janice – him being the layabout and she being a screech. Although not married, Anna took Eddie’s name. Introduced as a family that refused to pay Joe McIntyre for a kitchen refit, they soon moved into No.6, next door to Joe! Both Anna and Joe’s partner Gail tried to make amends between the two warring families but to no avail.

While Eddie got a job in Streetcars, Anna got a job as a waitress at Roy’s Rolls. Anna disagreed with Eddie’s scheming and scamming and was ashamed when Eddie stole and posed as Roy Cropper in a scam to get a free holiday. In 2010, the Windasses become interested in adoption and they take in Faye Butler. A troubled girl, Faye caused a rift between Eddie and Anna and when Eddie issued an ultimatum to Anna, she chose Faye and Eddie left for Germany.

Do you think Eddie suited Anna better than Owen does? Should the Windasses be at 46?


45. Don Brennan and Ivy Tilsley/Brennan, 1987-1994 (18 votes)

After first husband Bert died in 1984 and a romance with George Wardle in 1985, Ivy Tilsley met cabby Don Brennan in 1987 when he drove her home. Don was a widower, and he and Ivy married in 1988. Ivy’s life changed forever in 1989 when Brian was fatally stabbed. Already a staunch Catholic, she turned more towards religion and away from Don, leading to tension between them. Only being married for two years, Don soon realised that he had made a mistake in marrying Ivy as she became obsessed with the relationship of Gail with toy boy Martin Platt and the effect it had on Nick and Sarah Louise and even got Social Services involved. Don forced Ivy to apologise.

By 1992, Don had an affair with barmaid Julie Dewhurst and when Julie later dumped him, he attempted suicide and had to have his lower leg amputated. Ivy, devastated by his adultery, turned to drink. They soon reconciled, but slept in separate rooms. Don left Ivy in 1994 and she went on a long retreat to a convent, where she suffered a stroke and died. Although he’d asked for a divorce, Don was left a widower for the second time.

Were you a fan of the Brennans? Should they be at 45?

Check out who was 48 and 47.

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Corrie cast cheer on Julie Hesmondhalgh on stage

Julie Hesmondhalgh in Blindsided
Gone are the red anorak and brown wig.  Just a week after we saw Hayley's final scenes on Coronation Street, Julie Hesmondhalgh took to the stage for her new role - cheered on by a host of her former Corrie cast members.

Julie is now starring in the world premiere production of Blindsided at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester.  

The Manchester Evening News has a review of the play and a gallery of pictures of Corrie cast members who turned out to see Julie in the play last night.

Rebecca Callard, the daughter of Bev Callard, who plays Corrie's Liz McDonald, is also starring alongside Julie in Blindsided.


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Preview of tonight's Coronation Street - Wednesday 29 January

WEDNESDAY 29TH JANUARY 2014
ROY STRUGGLES TO KEEP IT ALL TOGETHER Roy remains inscrutable as Suzie the celebrant visits to discuss Hayley’s funeral.  Fiz is worried when he finally erupts and bemoans how everything has to be how Hayley wanted; she even scheduled her own death. Feeling completely at sea, can he bring himself to attend Hayley’s funeral?
STELLA TURNS HER ATTENTION TO KAL Stella’s impressed as Dev and Kal work on their business plan for the gym and Kal’s left amused when Dev gets tongue-tied in his attempt to pay Stella a compliment.
SOPHIE CONFRONTS MADDIE Sophie and Maddie row when Maddie demands the £50 Sophie promised her and Sophie’s left curious when Maddie admits she needs the money to help her little brother, who’s worse off than she is.
ELSEWHERE Kylie tells Nick he needs to stop feeling sorry for himself and Beth gets her job back.

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Elsie Who?

Copyright @pickledjo

There's been  recent excitement over the latest regeneration of  Doctor Who, where the original character was, to use a modern term, "rebranded" using a new actor, with differences in personality as ell but with the basic persona intact.

Nobody can dispute that Elsie Tanner is one of Corrie's iconic characters, so much so that decades later, sometimes a new female character would be described as the "new" Elsie Tanner though most long time fans never really believed it.

When Pat Phoenix left the show for good in January 1984, what if they had regenerated Elsie instead of letting her go off on an adventure alone? We could have had different actresses, younger or older, different personalities but with the basic core of Elsie, tough, feisty, maternal, not very lucky in love and a real survivor.

If we could look at some characters that came after Elsie, we might envision some of them as regenerated Elsies.

Gloria Todd (Sue Jenkins, 1985 - 1988)
Gloria was a bit on the young side and wasn't very maternal, but she was feisty and by'eck she didn't 'alf go through the men in the three years she was on the show. She was either admired by or dated the following: Steve Holt, George Newton, Frank Mills, Alan Bradley, Terry and Jack Duckworth, David Atherton, Mike Baldwin, and Pete Shaw.  She went out with Alan Bradley who was also romancing Rita at the same time but Gloria had scruples and dumped Alan when she found out. Elsie would do that, too, she never liked to fight over a man with a mate, and wouldn't steal one from a mate either.

Denise Osbourne (Denise Black, 1992 - 1997)
Not long after Gloria fled the cobbles, Denise Osbourne made her entrance. She was the first of the characters to have the "Elsie Tanner" label. She had the pouffy hair, the cynicism that comes from too many failed relationships, the vulnerability of one that is still looking for love (in all the wrong places). She had one ex husband, George, that we never met and one younger toyboy fella, Neil Mitchell who was a mistake, her post-divorce fling/marraige. In additin, she was admired by or dated these men: Don Brennan, Brian Dunkley, Ken Barlow (with whom she had a child, Daniel), Reg Holdsworth, Jack Duckworth, Doug Murray, Jon Welch and Hanif Ruparell. Many a neighour would sniff that Denise was no better than she ought to be. Elsie would approve.

She also had a maternal side and took young hairdressers Fiona Middleton and Maxine Heavy under her wing, particularly Fiona. In Elsie's later years, she often had  young women as lodgers who looked to her for advice and comfort. She left the show, having taken Brian Dunkley off her sister, scarpering to Scotland with baby Daniel. She did make a brief reappearance in 2007 but the spirit of Elsie Tanner had moved on by then.

Natalie Horrocks Barnes (Denise Welch, 1997 - 2000)
Natalie was another short lived but busy woman. She came onto our screens intent on homewrecking the Webster marraige and succeeded in short order. Subsequent relationships included Vinny Sorrell, Ian Bentley, and brothers Colin  and Des Barnes, marrying the latter. But that fairytale did not end happily because Des was killed defending Natalie's son, Tony, from drug dealer heavies. Natalie helmed the Rovers for a short time, providing a maternal figure for young Leanne Battersby, Samantha Failsworth, and her niece Lorraine Brownlow. Natalie often had the neighbours gossiping and disapproving of her, with many a wife pulling her husband away from the bar when Natalie was serving.

She lost her fella, Vinny, to her sister and left the Street, pregnant and ready to start a new life. She started out in the centre of scandal, left with scandal chasing her skirts and never really shed the scent of it while she was in situ but she didn't give a damn. Elsie would approve.

Shelley Unwin (Sally Lindsay, 2001 - 2006)
Shelley might be another one that's a little young to be Elsie regenerated but I believe she had Elsie's spirit in her. She was indeed feisty, a real good time gal and one of the lads but the lads fell all over themselves to avail themselves of her "Charms".She was one of the few Elsie regenerations that didn't go through men like butter, having only one other major relationship, that with Peter Barlow who crushed her when, newly married, she discovered he was already and still married to Lucy Carmichael with whom he even had a child!

She wasn't really a maternal figure but had her best mates, Sunita and Geena and was a kind of big sister to Violet.  She was tough and strong until the dastardly Charlie Stubbs wormed his way into her brain. She found her backbone eventually and jilted Charlie at the altar, taking her life back with both hands. Elsie would approve. But one last one night stand with Charlie found her pregnant though she left town to raise the baby on her own.

Carla Connor (Alison King, 2006 - present)
No sooner did Shelley swan out of Weatherfield, than Carla Connor swanned in on her stillettos, flouting a designer handbag. She's got a lot of Elsie's spirit. She's tough, strong and feisty almost to the point of failure because she has a hard time showing her vulnerability to anyone. She's had terrible luck with men, most of whom either end up dead or who attack or try to kill her. Her husband Paul had a prostitute habit and was killed in a car crash while speeding into town to prove to his wife that he wasn't a customer of the prostitute he had in the car boot (Leanne Battersby).

Then it turns out she'd loved her brother-in-law, Liam, since they were kids, love of their lives and all that. Except he married Maria before starting an affair with Carla. Liam ended up dead on a back street in Manchester when her fiance Tony discovered she loved Liam and had been having an affair with him. She didn't know Tony killed Liam and married the man! But she soon discovered the truth and fled town only to return when Tony was insinuating himself into the life of Maria, the woman who had been married to Liam. Tony turned himself in but later broke out of jail and nearly killed Carla when he set fire to her factory with the two of them in it! She dated binman Trevor for awhile and he helped her recover from the trauma but he felt she wasn't really into him and he didn't like being under her thumb so he left town with Janice Battersby! Quite an difference but at least he got out alive!

Carla had another controlling boyfriend in client Frank Foster but she'd fallen in love with Peter Barlow who married Leanne instead. She decided she'd take Frank if she couldn't have Peter but when she and Peter inevitably had an affair, she jilted Frank the eve before their wedding. Frank didn't take it well and raped Carla and then managed to get off of the charges in a dramatic trial that ended with Peter's wife Leanne discovering the affair. Frank ended up dead on the factory floor after admitting to Carla that he knew he raped her and threatened to do it again. Was Carla guilty of killing him? Was Peter? No, neither one of them did it, Frank's mother was the culprit, lashing out after she'd overheard his confession.

Carla finally ended up with Peter only to have him snog a barmaid young enough to be his daughter on their wedding day after Carla was put to bed drunk. She doesn't know that yet. Carla doesn't have a maternal bone in her body though she tries with Peter's son, Simon. She can't really relate and the lad knows it but she's not the evil step "monster" either. No matter what awful thing life throws at Carla, almost always at the hands of a fella, Carla seems to keep going even with a bit of a wobble. And though Elsie's tipple was gin, Carla likes a bottle of red wine or two to soften the hard edges of life. I think Elsie would approve.

Most of the ladies above would have similarities to Elsie when she was younger and into her 40s. The only other possibility on my list was Eileen Grimshaw who is actually related to Elsie whose maiden name was Grimshaw. She certainly has the "loser in love" aspect and the maternal instincts with a house full of lodgers over the years but I don't think she has the eternal optimism, that "pull yourself up by your 20 deniers and get on with it" hopefulness that Elsie had. Argumentative isn't a fair substitute for Feisty and Eileen is miserable more often than she's not even if she lives in Elsie's old house.

So there you have it. Elsie Tanner regenerations over the past 30 years since La Tanner left the street for Portugal with her fella. I'd say that, in my opinion, Natalie and Carla are the regenerations closest to Elsie's spirit, though like Elsie, all the women are survivors.

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